Conversion is crucial and often the main purpose of most business websites. The goal of conversion is to get visitors to take some type of action or engage to show interest in a company and its offerings. Conversion may be focused on simply leading a website visitor to become a prospective customer by submitting their contact information or encouraging them to make a purchase as efficiently as possible.

As conversion takes on many forms, so follows the types of methods and tools meant to foster it. One often overlooked but effective method is to offer PDF files as conversion incentives. This can be an effective addition to just about any website that seeks to gain visitor engagement for sales, branding, and marketing purposes.

Benefits Of Using A PDF

A PDF, or portable document format, is a type of file that can be opened and viewed on just about any device. These files are easily downloadable by anyone and can be used as a way to get customers to sign up for an email list, complete a survey, or submit information that will ultimately be useful for sales and marketing.

Since a PDF can be opened and viewed by anyone, it’s a great file format to offer website visitors who might be seeking valuable information, such as a how-to guide, infographic, FAQ sheet, or product brochure. The style possibilities of a PDF and information included is virtually limitless, but in general, this digital file format works as an effective conversion incentive for website visitors and potential and current customers. Some of the benefits of using a PDF document on a website include the following:

  • Accessibility – PDF documents, as mentioned, are highly accessible. Most people already have the software needed to open and view a PDF on all of their devices, so there’s no need to find and download or purchase special software.
  • Versatility – PDFs can include graphics, charts, links, and much more. They can adapt to whatever the business wants to share and however they want to package it, whether that’s a traditional brochure style, a brand-centric design, or detailed tables and technical lists. Just about any document can be turned into a PDF.
  • Consistency – Customers know what to expect when they download a PDF from a website. They also allow for consistency by ensuring all of the information the customer might need is on a PDF. A larger topic can be broken into smaller subtopics, each with its own PDF, and customers will know exactly what to expect with each one.
  • Branding – PDFs offer another way to work on brand recognition as they can be tailored to the company. Depending on the information being shared, a PDF can be a powerful and versatile marketing asset that boosts brand recognition and creates a great impression.

What Information Could Be In A PDF?

PDFs should include any information that the customers might find intriguing or that they might need to make a decision to purchase from the company. The type of PDF and the information it might contain will often be unique to the business and its customers. However, there are common types of documents that are turned into PDFs, such as price lists, how-to guides for products, tricks and tips the customer will find useful, and brochures or eBooks.

PDFs also do not need to be exclusive or specially requested to be beneficial for conversion. Catalogs and menus are often put in PDF format and are offered to website visitors without requiring them to submit anything in return, although this can be done strategically. For example, a restaurant may make its general dine-in menu an open-access PDF that anyone can view through their website, but they may choose to make their catering menu only available to visitors who submit an email. The prospective client then gets the specific information they need and the restaurant now has a new lead and means to contact and follow up.

No matter the type of PDF, it should include basic information about the business as well as branding. The PDF should include logos, images, and graphics to help with the branding as well as to make the PDF more engaging. It should be designed consistently with the website, so the PDF reminds the customers of the source and provider of valuable information. The goal is to get customers to be interested in the next steps following the PDF download while also using it to further brand recognition.

Using PDFs For Conversion

PDFs are an excellent way to get visitors to sign up for special offers or to opt-in for an email list. Once they opt-in or accept a special offer, they’re more likely to remember that company and engage. For the PDF, websites may have a sign-up form that customers will fill out. Once the form is filled out, the PDF can be downloaded directly or emailed to the customer. The customer’s information can then be used as a means of contact for future offers and incentives, further encouraging them to make a purchase or engage in other ways.

To use a PDF for conversion in the most effective way, it has to include something the customers will be interested in. For instance, a business could offer a PDF that includes tips and tricks when using their products. Customers can fill out the form and access the PDF, learn more about the products and how to use them.

Multiple PDFs On The Website

One way to get more visitors to provide contact information to the business is to offer multiple PDFs they may want to download. There are ways to do this where the customer only has to enter their information once, or so that the information is not duplicated in the database. Multiple PDFs provide more branding opportunities, generate more leads, and establish reputability and authority across a marketplace.

PDFs can also be targeted according to specific types of personas, customers, or marketplaces. This contributes to a decluttered but comprehensive website that’s rich with information and various reasons to engage. Adding a PDF library, where visitors can choose from all types of relevant resources is an excellent option for companies with a lot of information to share.

Using PDFs In Emails

PDFs don’t have to just be on the website. As mentioned, they can be emailed to the customer once the customer fills out the contact form. Future emails sent out to customers can include PDFS as well. PDFs are easy to add as an attachment to any email. This makes the email shorter, which means customers are more likely to read it.

When using PDFs in emails as part of an overall email marketing campaign, it’s best to stick with information the customer is looking for or will find incredibly useful. These PDFs shouldn’t be a copy of something available on the website. In most cases, PDFs containing new information are more effective for email marketing, can help keep customers engaged, and can generate new leads.

Professionally Created PDFs

In today’s world, DIY projects are prevalent because of the potential to save money. Just about anything can be a DIY project, including PDF creation. However, it’s generally not a good idea for business owners to try to create their own PDF without much experience or design expertise. A professional looking PDF of any type will require some experience with writing, graphic design, best-practices for company branding. This is why many companies choose to work with a professional. While this will require some investment, the professional quality will be apparent. This contributes to reputability and is likely to generate more leads.

The other downside to DIY PDFs is that it may be necessary to purchase or install new software. Often, this software does come with a learning curve, even if it’s free. It’s going to take longer to create PDFs because it’s often a learning experience to write, design and build other content assets using whatever software is required. Consider the time and energy necessary in addition to regular aspects of maintaining a website and operating a business.

Professionals know what customers are looking for in a PDF, how to arrange the information, what to include for branding or to create more interest, and more. They’ll make sure everything is perfect with the document before it’s turned into a PDF and can work with companies to ensure it’s exactly what’s required. Overall, opting for a professionally created PDF is going to be apparent in the results.

When seeking more ways to increase conversion, PDFs can be a fantastic option. There are many different ways to use them on a website throughout other platforms used in a marketing strategy, including email campaigns, on social network feeds, and other places. When you’re ready to create a PDF, consider working with a professional. Experience and training will often amount to a stunning PDF that will be downloaded and share more frequently.

This media format is not to be overlooked when conversion, engagement, and better brand recognition is a priority. Whether you choose to create your own or hire a professional, PDFs can be powerful conversion tools that have a role to play for all types of companies.